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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 29, 2010 10:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

I would say that except for studio efforts, his voice was shot...I was going from 74-82, and the last few yrs he just couldn't hold a candle to what he did in 70. He lost the high range, often was sick (colds, sore throat, etc.).

Now, does that mean he's incapable of pulling off a decent Peg-O or CFingers? No, he could do that...still; but it was the exception. His voice was generally hit or miss depending on health, tour schedule and drug use, etc., etc.

Would I say it was completely shot--unlistenable? No, of course not--and maybe that's where you and I agree...but you gotta understand I am coming from loving the 60s and early, early 70s, and just don't hear the same Jerry (and wouldn't expect it after ten yrs of such abuse as we've so often discussed).

So, some folks might like the gravelly, rough, lack of high notes and so on, but I view it as he did: "I couldn't sing HTime well in 1970 in the studio" (his quote about wishing someone that could sing would sing it), so I imagine if it was even more difficult for him to do it in 80, he'd be harder on himself than me...

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Poster: mdewdcreek Date: Mar 29, 2010 10:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Yeah ok I can agree with you here. And if Cliff meant something along these lines, then I retract my previous comments. I love the 60-70's as well and agree that his voice was much smoother and with better range during those periods. I guess we only have a difference in opinion on what a "shot" voice is:). To me Jerry sounded different after 77' (and not in a good way), and after 83' or so, sounded pretty damn bad for most part...at least to these ears.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Mar 29, 2010 5:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

During good nights in the 80's his vocal delivery was just as effective as his peak in the early 70's.

11-22-1972 is a show that I've been listening to recently that features some amazing vocal work from Jerry on Bird Song - he sounds angelic and articulates everything so well.

I love '83 most for the H>S>F revival.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 29, 2010 11:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Yep; we agree, and CLIFF, well CLIFF was just pulling your chain.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 29, 2010 4:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

It is funny, but I like "High Time" in the 89-91 period , more that I do earlier, for me I think that scrawl suits the song more ,( again, for me ).
But I suspect one of the problems he had with some of those early songs, was he couldn't hit the notes . As "Deadheads", we overlook those last notes in "Morning Dew" say, and enjoy the overall, "feel" being conveyed . Lots of shell, but the meat is great . None of the Dead were "natural" singers , but in Jerry's case the overall soulfulness in his singing usually carried the day . There are ,thousands of singers more accomplished, but few , even in when he was not on, I would rather hear .
Listen to that version of "Dark as a Dungeon", with Grisman , his voice is not "strong", but he gives me goosebumps with the emotional power of the performance . He was the "real deal".

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 29, 2010 4:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Yup; Hunter talks about his "reedy sound" and the fact that he wasn't capable of being a so called "all around great singer", but we would all agree that his voice was full and meaningful to all of us, and just right in that regard...I just think that in general, having agreed on that, he was at the peak of his idiosyncratic, reedy/bluegrass/Americana style vocal abilities earlier than later due to all the effects of smoking, drugs, etc., etc.

But in any case, I think we're largely on the same page.

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Poster: billydlions Date: Mar 29, 2010 5:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Hey Tell, I really dont disagree that Workingman's and American Beauty were Jerry's studio peak. I still think I like his live singing better in 1977 for whatever the reasons (smoking, drugs, maturity?)

Just out of curiosity are there any singers you liked better as they got older? I always liked Sinatra's rat pack years better than his early days, so perhaps I'm more drawn to a mature/raspy voice even if some range is lost (and you know he smoked non stop). I'm trying to think of the other bands I like, Led Zep, Rush, etc but there doesnt seem to be much variation. Not sure how I feel about the Beatles other than I like their later albums better, but perhaps for other reasons.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 29, 2010 5:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

tough one BD; largely cause I really like "first efforts" of so many of may favs to begin with, often not vocally related though (you know, thinking so and so's first album or two were best, etc.; common for many it seems?).

I can think of some for which their voice didn't change much, so I still like them as they age, but not many that I would say "oh, yeah--this person actually sounds more mature or some such and I like them better as a result".